07/15/2021: Arch Linux, FOSS, and Me

So, as you may have guessed from my page about who I am (which you can find here, btw), I am an avid Arch Linux user. Honestly, I just like the whole configuration part of it. I'm a huge nerd, so weirdly enough I enjoy configuring stuff like that, solving problems, etc. etc. So, for today's first topic, just thought I'd talk about some of the stuff I have/like on my install of Arch.


Firstly, of course, there's the configuration. Arch Linux, being what it is, requires a lot of configuration to work properly, and that property applies to a lot of extra software as well. I'm comfortable saying that my Arch install is perfectly tailored to me. I have SwayWM (wayland for life!), with waybar installed alongside that, kitty as my terminal emulator with a modified Dracula theme, the works. I also have zsh installed, because bash is kind of gross :P. Not to mention all the packages and crap I have installed (maybe too many packages, if that's even a thing.)


Also, you can't forget the security. This isn't necessarily just an Arch-specific thing, but because of the inherent barebones nature of Arch, it's very secure, especially compared to something like windows. Windows has a history of NSA backdoors, long-hidden exploits, and more. Not to mention how easy it is to get malware on it. Granted, it may also be confirmation bias speaking for that last part, since most linux users are also generally more technologically literate, enough to not download random things on the internet and run them all willy-nilly, but I digress.


Now, onto the next topic I wanted to talk about: FOSS (Free and Open Source Software). For those unaware, Free and Open Source Software is, well, software that is free (as in freedom) and open source. A good example of this would be something like Audacity. Audacity has been FOSS since inception, and it shows. Earlier this year, Muse Group purchased Audacity (out of nowhere), and then started adding telemetry to it. Obviously, a lot of people didn't like that. So you know what they did?

they just forked it, took out the telemetry, and released it themselves!

That's obviously one of the benefits of FOSS, but another benefit of an open source model is, surprisingly, security. Now, that may seem counterintuitive, but let me explain:
When you have a big project like Audacity, or the Linux kernel, anyone can make contributions to the project. This seems ripe for exploitation, but in all actuality, since it's open source, there are hundreds, if not thousands of people watching these projects and thier contributions every day, so if anything malicious is requested, people are sure to know!

Whew, getting that off my chest felt good. I hope you enjoyed reading, whoever you are. If you have any comments, questions, contributions, etc. Find me on my discord, listed in my whoami page (a link to which is listed above in the article), or email me at slips(at)slipfox.xyz! See you tomorrow, scrublords. :P

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